Canvassing in Littlebury and Community Clear up in Wendens Ambo!

Belinda and I had an warm response to our first foray into canvassing at Littlebury, where people were generally surprised and pleased to meet election candidates and to be able to air their views on such matters as housing provision, traffic control and school places. At one point I was accosted by a passing Neighbourhood Watch monitor, who rightly wanted to check what I was doing. When he heard I was an R4U candidate, he declared himself a strong supporter.

We had a good morning too helping clean up Wendens Ambo on the 14th, and were glad to meet and chat to some more interested residents there, and again at the Chrishall litter-pick on the 21st, when the refreshments were as good as promised. Thanks to John for the vegetarian bacon roll.


We also look forward to talking to the residents of Great Chesterford, and any others who may care to come, over a cup of tea or coffee at our open meeting from 10-2 on Saturday 28th, in the conservatory of the Crown House Hotel on Newmarket Road. Please come along and let us know what you think about our campaign and local issues.

3 Replies to “Canvassing in Littlebury and Community Clear up in Wendens Ambo!”

  1. Neil Gregory

    Hi Patrick,

    I do appreciate the sense of engagement that R4U is bringing to the democratic process in Uttlesford. In that spirit, some questions for you and Belinda – and rather pointed ones.

    Yesterday a resident of Gt Chesterford stopped me in the street for a chat. They had been speaking to Dr Richard Freeman in the market sq in Saffron Walden on Saturday. Apparently, in the discussion Dr Freeman said that he supported the building of 6000 houses/homes in/adjacent to Gt Chesterford. Given that if I recall correctly Dr Freeman is both a candidate and Head of Policy for R4U this raises a number of questions that we need very clear answers to.

    1. Do you and Belinda support 6000 houses/homes in Gt Chesterford?
    2. Is this apparent statement by Dr Freeman official R4U policy?
    3. How does this apparent statement tie in with an evidence and local resident led approach to the new Local Plan?
    4. What is R4U policy on development at Gt Chesterford?

    Sorry to be so blunt but this is an issue of profound interest to many residents of the ward.

    In the interests of objectivity and balance I will be asking the same questions of the other candidates for the new ward.

    Yours truly


  2. Patrick Hawke-Smith

    In reply to the comment from Neil Gregory of Great Chesterford:

    Hi Neil,

    Good to hear from you. I’m glad to hear you welcome R4U’s approach, which we certainly hope is open and engaging.

    Thank you too for your questions. I do hope that the following answers are sufficiently clear:

    1. Belinda Irons and I do not advocate large-scale building at Great Chesterford – or at any other single site for that matter; we support R4U’s policy of assessing and addressing housing and infrastructure needs sustainably across the district as a whole, taking into account all the facts, evidence and views of residents.
    2. Richard Freeman is of course entitled to his personal opinions and I do not know exactly what he may have said and how it was interpreted, but a single settlement at Great Chesterford is not official R4U policy (nor, I understand, a current possibility).
    3. Our approach to local planning and development, based on evidence and residents’ needs and views, will lead us to give due consideration to the possibility of new settlements, without making any pre-judgements about their potential locations and extent.
    4. As explained, R4U has a policy on development across the district and will naturally respond to specific planning applications as they arise, but does not have a policy on development at any particular location.

    We will send a fuller reply to you that we will also publish on this site.

    Finally, I would recommend Joanna Parry’s blog post on her approach to questions about housing, in which she articulates R4U policy admirably.

    Best regards,


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